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Old 12-02-2017, 01:56 PM
 
34 posts, read 14,267 times
Reputation: 47

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I posted a year ago asking for input on my dream of completely rehabbing my mentally ill mother's house when she eventually has to leave it, which may be 5-10 years from now. I realized with your help that paying for a big rehab would be a bad idea in general.

I'm still wondering though, should I do anything at all to it? To recap, the house was built in the early '60s, 1900 sq ft, in a fairly desirable middle class neighborhood. In tip top shape it would be worth around $300k. My mother doesn't really lift a finger to clean or have anything repaired. The electrical is original (fuse box, ungrounded). The galvanized steel plumbing is on its last legs. HVAC unit is old but is hanging on. A lot of the walls are wood paneling, which was painted in the '80s. Her kitchen and bathroom counters are deeply stained, burn marked etc. She had two small untrained dogs in the past, and those odors may still be lingering a bit in the porous surfaces.

I would have the house professionally cleaned, but it would still be quite ugly afterwards. If anyone here is a realtor with experience selling neglected houses-- should I even repaint the interior before selling? Normally repainting grimy walls would be a no brainer, not so sure here. Also, one section of wood paneling, around 10 sq ft, was scorched and warped by a space heater (thankfully not burning the house down)-- don't know if it's worth repairing that.

I imagine flippers love dirt and ugliness, since it means there is less competition on the buy. Are flippers/investors affected by the same psychological factors that other buyers are? Wondering if mostly clean and fresh vs dirty and ugly makes any effect on a true fixer upper sale.

In theory I could also do a few more things to bring it up to a low-end rental type of condition, such as resurfacing the countertops, replacing the stained kitchen sink, replacing door knobs etc, but kind of doubt that would be worth it.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:37 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,080 posts, read 4,480,453 times
Reputation: 3349
See if there have been any comps in the area for similar properties not updated and see what they've sold for.

Next, get some quotes and work out what it would cost to do all of the updates you'd like to do in an ideal world, then add 15% for unexpected expenses/contingency.

If you add the reno costs to the un-updated house value and it exceeds the value of the updated comps, it isn't worth it, in my opinion, and you may be better off with an as is sale (just get it thoroughly cleaned first).

Our house was built in 1959 and when we bought it, it was not updated, but it was very clean. We did have to put about $5000+ into it straight away for it to pass the local occupancy inspection though.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:01 PM
 
6,984 posts, read 4,485,161 times
Reputation: 6353
You may want to have an inspection to find out if there is anything significant that would affect future sale.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:25 PM
 
1,733 posts, read 2,293,428 times
Reputation: 1674
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDWill1 View Post
I posted a year ago asking for input on my dream of completely rehabbing my mentally ill mother's house when she eventually has to leave it, which may be 5-10 years from now. I realized with your help that paying for a big rehab would be a bad idea in general.

I'm still wondering though, should I do anything at all to it? To recap, the house was built in the early '60s, 1900 sq ft, in a fairly desirable middle class neighborhood. In tip top shape it would be worth around $300k. My mother doesn't really lift a finger to clean or have anything repaired. The electrical is original (fuse box, ungrounded). The galvanized steel plumbing is on its last legs. HVAC unit is old but is hanging on. A lot of the walls are wood paneling, which was painted in the '80s. Her kitchen and bathroom counters are deeply stained, burn marked etc. She had two small untrained dogs in the past, and those odors may still be lingering a bit in the porous surfaces.

I would have the house professionally cleaned, but it would still be quite ugly afterwards. If anyone here is a realtor with experience selling neglected houses-- should I even repaint the interior before selling? Normally repainting grimy walls would be a no brainer, not so sure here. Also, one section of wood paneling, around 10 sq ft, was scorched and warped by a space heater (thankfully not burning the house down)-- don't know if it's worth repairing that.

I imagine flippers love dirt and ugliness, since it means there is less competition on the buy. Are flippers/investors affected by the same psychological factors that other buyers are? Wondering if mostly clean and fresh vs dirty and ugly makes any effect on a true fixer upper sale.

In theory I could also do a few more things to bring it up to a low-end rental type of condition, such as resurfacing the countertops, replacing the stained kitchen sink, replacing door knobs etc, but kind of doubt that would be worth it.

Thanks for your thoughts.
we are looking at a house in this condition right now. If priced right, I as a buyer , prefer a house that
has not been updated, I can envision how house will look .
The house we are considering is listed at the same price as fixed up homes in the neighborhood so we are
trying to get a handle on the cost of gutting it and get the sellers to realize that
they do not have a move in ready house

So, price it for the condition it is in , keeping in mind that no one is going to buy if
house, once rehabbed, ends up the most expensive house in the neighborhood.
I don't think you should spend any money fixing up the house.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:39 PM
 
34 posts, read 14,267 times
Reputation: 47
To clarify, I would not be "updating" my mother's house, just spending some money to make it look cleaner and less neglected. My question centers around, for instance, repainting and repairing wood paneling that would most likely be torn out when a flipper rehabs the house. Another issue would be deeply stained grout in the tiled bathroom that may not look clean even after a professional cleaning crew comes in.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,259 posts, read 3,230,849 times
Reputation: 14346
Clean it up, make obvious repairs and let 'er rip.

A company that does flips is gong to tear out the bathroom anyway, so no worry about the grout. They will take down the paneling, so no reason to repair it. All new appliances. New flooring, etc., etc.

Just clean, clean, clean. And then sell it and don't look back. A flipper can do this stuff more cheaply than you.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:08 PM
 
1,533 posts, read 567,025 times
Reputation: 3050
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDWill1 View Post
To clarify, I would not be "updating" my mother's house, just spending some money to make it look cleaner and less neglected. My question centers around, for instance, repainting and repairing wood paneling that would most likely be torn out when a flipper rehabs the house. Another issue would be deeply stained grout in the tiled bathroom that may not look clean even after a professional cleaning crew comes in.
No one is suggesting you *do* the updates, just that you get quotes so you can price the home accordingly. If you set the price of the hom at $250K in a $300K neighborhood but the home needs a minimum of $75K of updates, no one is going to consider it. The issue is that the home has ungrounded electrical, an ancient HVAC and old plumbing. I think those may be a turnoff for flippers since they tend to focus more on homes that are cosmetically unappealing but have better bones and have more updated electrical/HVAC/solid plumbing.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Upstate NY
27,007 posts, read 7,396,811 times
Reputation: 23970
About a year ago, I read a local article about these "fixer-upper" homes in the area. One guy who gravitated toward buying these homes, mentioned how many of them had been owned by widows who, apparently, did little with them in terms of upkeep, much less rehabbing.

I got the impression that he preferred to make changes on his own rather than dealing with patchwork upgrades. He mentioned one case in which he removed the new cabinets the seller had installed before the sale.

I agree, and don't see the point in these updates. Let the price reflect the condition of the property.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:14 PM
 
34 posts, read 14,267 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dblackga View Post
Clean it up, make obvious repairs and let 'er rip.

A company that does flips is gong to tear out the bathroom anyway, so no worry about the grout. They will take down the paneling, so no reason to repair it. All new appliances. New flooring, etc., etc.

Just clean, clean, clean. And then sell it and don't look back. A flipper can do this stuff more cheaply than you.
What do you consider obvious repairs? The damaged section of wall paneling I mentioned above is very "obvious," and as you state, the buyer will tearing the interior down to the studs.

I've accepted that the house likely won't sell for much above $150k at any rate.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:03 PM
 
3,679 posts, read 2,764,237 times
Reputation: 3539
Sounds like it'll be gutted.

In which case, wouldnt worry about cleaning it.
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